interview farscape Taken from TV Zone #141

Claudia Black:
Back from the dead

Completely out of the blue, death grabbed hold of Aeryn Sun.

Season 3 spoilers for UK viewers!

Claudia Black portrait as Aeryn

See also: Ben Browder on John Crichton


It happened, of course, in Die Me, Dichotomy, the Season Two finale of Farscape. Aeryn’s ship crashed through the ice and the beloved Peacekeeper perished… at least for a while. Likewise, Claudia Black had precious little warning that Aeryn would die.

“I think we were on episode number 19 when I heard all of these rumors on set,” recalls the actress. “I didn’t know what they were talking about. Someone then told me that Aeryn died and I remember feeling this overwhelming, incredible sensation of relief because I knew I’d then get some rest. Then someone from the writing department came down to talk to me. I hadn’t heard from anybody. Somebody came down and said, ‘It’s not true, you know that, don’t you?’ I said, ‘What?’ She said, ‘Aeryn dying. Don’t worry.’ I said, ‘Do I look worried?’ She looked at me and I said, ‘No, seriously, look at my face. Do I look like a person who is worried either way? Do I care? And I mean that in the nicest possible way. Thank you for coming to let me know. I don’t mind.’

"She said, ‘We’re bringing Aeryn back,’ and I said, ‘Well, that’s great, whatever you’re going to do. I’ll believe it when I see it.’ The beauty of the Sci-Fi genre is that everybody can die and then be exhumed. I was happy either way. I was happy to leave and I was happy to stay.”

Stayin’ Alive

Black, to state the obvious, stayed. And so too did Aeryn. The producers wasted little time in bringing Aeryn back to life, reviving the character by the end of the third season’s first episode, Season of Death. “I would have liked, to be honest, to be away for at least another episode,” says the Australian actress, whose other credits include episodes of the Fantasy series BeastMaster (as Huna in Wild Child), Xena: Warrior Princess (Lifeblood) and Hercules: The Legendary Journeys (as Cassandra in Atlantis and Hercules on Trial), as well as the role of the doomed Shazza in the sleeper hit Sci-Fi/Horror hybrid Pitch Black.

“I’m flattered, however, that they brought me back as early as they did because it means the Crichton (Ben Browder) and Aeryn story is important to them and that Aeryn as a character provides a certain energy, and they didn’t want to be without her too much of the first episode. I was a bit confused by some of the exposition involved in bringing her back. When I watched it I thought, ‘Oh, so she’s back. I’m not entirely sure how.’ The connection with Zhaan was fascinating. There was obviously something sinister about the way Aeryn was put into the coffin. We have to presume that she was never really dead. It’s heartbreaking that Zhaan is connected to Aeryn’s exhumation, but it’s a very dramatic way to do it, so I enjoyed it..."

Ian Spelling


Also in this issue: Ben Browder talks about season 3 of Farscape

Claudia Black talks more about Farscape in TV Zone #141

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